German police on Monday arrested a 58-year-old man in Berlin on suspicion of handling stolen items from John Lennon’s estate, including the late Beatle’s diaries. The items were stolen from Lennon’s widow Yoko Ono in New York in 2006 and have been seized as evidence, Martin Steltner, a spokesman for the Berlin prosecutor’s office, said.
The unidentified man was taken into custody suspected of fraud and handling stolen goods. A second suspect, who lives in Turkey, “is unattainable for us at the present time,” Steltner said in a recorded statement posted on Twitter. The stolen goods consisted of “various items from the estate of John Lennon, including several diaries that were written by him,” Steltner added.
The items resurfaced in the German capital about three years ago. They were confiscated this year as part of the investigation and it is unclear when they will be returned to the estate. “The release of the seized evidence cannot yet be decided,” Steltner said.
Lennon, who along with Paul McCartney penned some of the Fab Four’s biggest hits including “Help” and “With a Little Help from My Friends”, was shot dead by a troubled fan in New York in 1980. His possessions have since become collectors’ items. A leather jacket supposedly worn by Lennon sold for £10,400 (11,700 euros; $13,800) at an auction in England in February.